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Adult Swim Drive-In tour stops at Belle Isle

Steven Sonoras
Special to The Detroit News

When the Adult Swim Drive-In Tour rolls into Belle Isle Park on Tuesday, you can bet it’s going to be much stranger than your average B-movie double feature.

In the last 15 years Adult Swim, a network of off-beat cable programming that airs daily from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on the Cartoon Network, has gained a loyal following for its cheeky, absurdist shows like “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” “The Venture Bros.,” “Childrens Hospital,” “Tim and Eric Awesome Show” and “Rick and Morty.”

According to a press release, Adult Swim is now the No. 1 network for viewers ages 18-34 and 18-39 and is seen in nearly 94 million U.S. homes.

The Drive-In Tour hits 10 parks in cities across the country through September, screening exclusive unaired pilots, episodes and clips on a 40-foot inflatable screen. Programming will be updated throughout the tour as content airs on the network. Fans of this free event also will also be treated to free games, prizes, a photo booth and concessions from local food trucks.

The network hasn’t revealed any big plans for its 15th anniversary, but the Drive-In Tour is one way for fans and the network to share the love, says Ashley Jex-Wagner, the network’s director of events.

“Honestly, it really is just an opportunity for us to hang out with our fans, give them an interesting experience, and show content that has never been seen before,” she says. “That’s really it, just making something cool and giving it to the fans.”

Jex-Wagner says above all Tuesday’s event is an incentive for Adult Swim fans to get out of their dorm rooms and meet others.

“We see a lot of missed connections on Craigslist after our events,” she laughs. “It’s a great way to meet friends and like-minded individuals.”

Free RSVP passes for the Detroit stop sold out in two days, the fastest of any city on the tour. But there’s still a chance for fans to get in.

“It will be first-come, first-served until capacity is reached, and RSVPs can’t be shared,” Jex-Wagner says. “But we will have a standby-line available, so people who didn’t RSVP are welcome to stay and wait, but there’s no guarantee they will get in.”

The organizers are keeping the tour’s programming a secret, and they encourage attendees to do the same.

“It’s an exclusive experience, and we ask people to not film so they don’t ruin it for people across the country,” Jex-Wagner says. “It’s really an intimate, one-of-a-kind experience, and we want to keep it that way.”

Programming from past events, including last year’s tour, has later wound up on the air. A previous tour, for instance, previewed “The Mike Tyson Mysteries” before that series aired the following fall, and a pilot from last year’s tour — which the organizers declined to name — has been approved for a series that will premiere later this year.

Steven Sonoras is an Ypsilanti-based freelance writer.

Adult Swim

Drive-In Tour

Car line-up at 5:30 p.m. Tues.

Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m.

Belle Isle Park

2 Inselruhe, Detroit

Free with RSVP